Gone Fishin'


I'm not actively blogging here anymore. But if you got here because you were searching for something about bikes, you might want to check out my latest project, Vermont Goldsprints. In summer of 2014, I bought a used goldsprints racing setup and have made it a mission to get more bikes in more people's faces by putting on fun races in unexpected places. Come join me!


Dutch Treat

Kate with Holland Lake Falls.

Mission Mountains.

Holland Lake with Missions in the background.

Kate and I went out to Holland Lake this Sunday and hiked up to Holland Lake Falls. Pretty lake, great views, nice cool spray coming off the falls. Holland Lake is about an hour and a half away from Missoula, but still very much inside Missoula County. On the drive back we saw droves of people putting in and taking out tubes, rafts, canoes, beer coolers and anything else that would float from the Blackfoot River. Other highlights today were a great breakfast of corned beef hash at the Hob Nob downtown and a swim in Rattlesnake Creek following a five-mile trail run Saturday night. Posted by Picasa


Weekend Update

I had Saturday off from REI (which meant a fairly grueling Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday working full shifts for the city/county followed by those nights there). The upside was that Kate and I got out quite a bit. We did a bunch of household chores and shopping Saturday morning, then went for a walk down by the river, a run etc. Today we started off heading to climb the mountain-formerly-known-as-Squaw Peak, which now has another name whose spelling and pronunciation escape me.

We drove out on the highway north and west of Missoula and headed up to the Ninemile ranger station. The station turns out to be a historic site where they used to outfit pack-mule trains for fire crews and other USFS work crews. From the ranger station the road climbs steeply and eventually goes down to a single lane, then gets rocky and rooty with no guardrail, and becomes more of a logging road. We turned around before getting to the trailhead and went back to the picnic area further down and walked the little mile-long nature trail loop. On the way we saw a group of about six mule deer, who watched us before splashing off through a wet meadow nearby. We took a few more short walks and headed back to the car and back to Missoula.

We then had lunch: a salad of greens, tuna, finely diced kalamata olives, and homemade dressing with lots of marjoram and pepper, then headed back up the Rattlesnake Creek area for another hike.

We headed up the Woods Gulch area in the Rattlesnake. On the way we passed a lush green field with a solitary whitetail doe standing in the middle. As we passed by, we realized she was nursing a very brand new fawn, not more than a 18 inches tall and all in spots. They let us watch for a while and then we drove on. Our hike was great and the weather at this point was total blue sky with no perceptible humidity and a temperature in the mid-70's. We hiked for an hour and a half and then headed up Pattee canyon for another short hike up the Crazy Canyon trail. While we were there, I got out the unicycle for a trial run on something other than pavement. My climbing skills leave quite a lot to be desired, but the descents were nice and I even managed to ride a short section of singletrack before the day was out. Kate took the pictures below:

Following that, we had chinese food for at the last place in Missoula we hadn't been to yet and solidified both of our opinions that there simply is no decent Chinese to be had here. Nobody has duck sauce, and the egg rolls here have all been small, greasy, and lacking any sort of cabbage inside. For a finale, we watched Office Space over a beer and are now headed to bed. Quite a weekend and I look forward to repeating it again soon.

nn Posted by Picasa


Rattlesnake Creek

We spent a few hours riding at Rattlesnake Creek, which is a few miles by road from where we live to the trailhead. Most of the path is old fire road and very doable on our slick tires, which were more than capable of the bikepaths of Cape Cod but just look silly in Montana.

I got to test out my new computer, which was a five-dollar find at the REI Scratch-n-Dent sale on Saturday. It is a Vetta RT88, which is wireless, does speed, odometer, time riding, etc. I'm not a big one to blog about work, or to push any commercial venture through my writing, but these members-only sales at REI are just great. There was nothing wrong with this computer, it just needed a new set of zip-ties for mounting and it was good to go. We spent about 12 miles on trails today.

The bike, with computer mounted. Of course, this isn't really visible in this picture, but it was a nice place to stop and the bike looked so nice leaned up against the rail here.

Kate. Anybody who would like to donate to the get-Kate-a-helmet-or-at-least-send-her-the-one-she-left-in-Massachusetts fund is welcome to do so.

Looking up Rattlkesnake Creek. We rode well past all the mountains visible in this picture.

Another nice one of the creek and relatively flat meander belt between the mountains. Lots of wildflowers, green grass, and awesome picnic spots with great views like this along here. Posted by Picasa


Looking across the Rattlesnake Creek (foreground) and Grant Creek Drainages north of the city.

We reached a point in our hike where we were in a stand of wide-open forest full of lush green grass.  Posted by Picasa

This is the view back down into Missoula from the high point we reached today.  Posted by Picasa
We took a short hike this afternoon on to the saddle of Mount Jumbo, which is the other large grassy mountain visible from Missoula, and which was indeed named for Barnum's elephant on the occasion of his visit to the city. It was hot, over 80 degrees, but there was a decent breeze up. We only hiked for a few hours and brought back just a few pictures to share. I I Posted by Picasa



Dad, Nicole, Hans and my mother were all here for a visit over Memorial Day Weekend and I have been in a state of recovery for the week following, in a scheduling sense. I didn't take a lot of pictures with the digital camera as it was really rainy most of the time. I'll have some slides to scan in another week or so as soon as I have finished the roll.

We managed to get in a lot of stuff while they were here, including a visit to the Fort Missoula museum, tastings at the Big Sky Brewery, and a whole parade of great dinners at great Missoula restaurants. We spent one fairly rainy day up at Glacier National Park, which felt like going about six weeks back in time in terms of the season- the larches were still silver where they are all green with new needles in the valley. We also too them for a drive up the Snowbowl Road and scoped out the now-green runs coming down to the lodge, and saw a whitetail doe with two yearlings picking their way across the slope next to the T-bar.

mostly, it was just really great to see everyone and hard to believe it has been almost 8 months already since we moved out here. I hope Kate and I can get back east for a visit this summer or early fall. I feel occasional pangs of homesickness, most recently when thinking about skimboarding at Nauset Beach, and several times before that when something reminded me of the smell of wet leaves and woodsmoke on a fall day in Vermont. Little things, I guess.

I've been at REI a couple nights a week as well as yesterday, today so far has been laundry day. I did manage to give Kate and my bicycles a good early-summer cleaning yesterday morning before work. I noticed that my chain and drivetrain (both over 10 years old now with plenty of miles and neglect) are pretty well shot to the point where just replacing the chain will only cause it to run badly and wear quickly. So, I'm going to hold out for a new cassette, chain, and set of rings up front rather than just replace the chain now. A word to the wise, though, check those chains for stretch and replace as necessary- a $14 chain once in a while is better than a hundred bucks on a new cassette, chain, and chainwheels. Posted by Picasa